29 June 2005
Texas Monthly on Carole Keeton Strayhorn
The good folks at Texas Monthly send over some background reading on Strayhorn.
The first is Paul Burka's recent June 2005 story on Strayhorn headlined: Carole Keeton Strayhorn Has Guts. Carole Keeton Strayhorn Is Nuts. Discuss..
The second is Evan Smith's December 2003 story headlined: One Ticked-off Grandma, which mostly deals with the falling out from the 2003 legislative session.
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1. Comptroller Strayhorn said that primary foe Perry's school finance plan was $200 million short and called it a "mess". Perry's office replied that Strayhorn had forgotten about more than $300 million in vetoed funds.
I guess Perry's office got the better of the exchange, since Strayhorn didn't appear to fire back with another press release. I assume if Perry's facts were wrong she would have. If I'm wrong, I expect to hear about it.
2. Kinky is in Corpus. "My campaign is not the joke. It's the Texas Legislature that's a joke. I think it's an easy job."
If school finance was so easy, I think it might've been solved by now.
3. Anyone else wondering how much PinkDome is making on the Adios Mofo tshirts? Are people wearing them around the Capitol?
4. Dave Montgomery speculates in the FWST about Hutchison's political future. The wagging tongues like Hutchison as a VP pick if Hillary is the nominee.
Texas Monthly mention
Cheers to TM editor Evan Smith for mentioning this blog in a story from this month's issue (with Lance Armstrong on the cover) about Nate Nance.
I have a terrible memorization skills, but I believe the quote was "a Republican take on the wild, wacky, governor's race (www.perryvsworld.com)."
I was amused by one thing. Smith writes -- probably partly tongue-in-cheek -- about how he shouldn't promote his competition, seeing as most bloggers think they're going to bring down the media.
I've never seen it that way. Blogs aren't competing with Texas Monthly. I'm certainly not -- I'd have to be getting paid more to write lengthy and thoughtful analysis pieces! I write a lot of drafts of longer analyses, but never get around to finishing them.
It seems to me that blogs are all about niches. As Tom Kirkendall says, the "blogosphere is redefining the way in which specialized information and knowledge is communicated." My own experience is that the folks who read this blog are mostly other bloggers, journalists -- especially from smaller papers -- who want to make sure they aren't missing anything on their beat, political junkies trolling for the latest rumor and info.
On the other hand, my understanding of this blog's readership is anecdotally based on people who email me. So more regular readers should email me.
Or maybe I'll design a poll.
Not that I don't think she's serious...
...but am I the only one who was inspired by Senator Hutchison's re-election announcement to doublecheck the filing deadlines?
The filing period will be December 3, 2005 until January 2, 2006. The primary is March 7.
Like I said, I don't doubt her. But it is possible that Kay could have already lost her senate leadership election [I don't think this is likely. Kay appears likely to win, as she, Kyl and Ensign have already decided not to run against each other. However congressional leadership election results are known de facto sooner and sooner] and Strayhorn could be winning handily. If so, I have to wonder whether Hutchison might reconsider, at least for a moment.
I'm not trying to start a rumor. I'm just saying, there's always a chance, even if only remotely miniscule.
Edit: how happy are national Republicans that they won't have to defend an open seat in Texas? That's a big chunk of resources that the NRSC can send to states like MI, MN, FL, PA and MD to elect Michael Steele. Alternately, the money the NRSC saves from a TX open seat is practically enough to entirely fund an ND campaign.
26 June 2005
1. The DMN has quotes pro and con from some Dallasites about Perry's decision to roll the dice on school finance by vetoing education spending in the budget.
While it may be very unlikely, is there a way Perry can be elected if schools fail to open on time this fall?
2. Gardner Selby has the poll numbers that KBH's campaign leaked to him, showing her beating Perry. I may have some thoughts on this in the near future.
3. Meanwhile, Clay Robison's recent op-ed piece (not a news piece -- he does news on weekdays, and op-ed on the weekends) views this special session as Perry's re-election kickoff.
24 June 2005
Adios mofo continues
The adios mofo story continues. I'm getting lots of hits from search engines for "adios mofo." So if you're one of them, welcome. This blog focuses on the gubernatorial race, particularly the primary between Comptroller Strayhorn and Governor Perry. I occasionally muse on other Texas politics stuff as well. (And yes, I know my sidebar needs to be updated.)
1. Front page, above the fold, Statesman headline: "Adios, mofo" is all the rage. The article talks about how radio shock jock The Greaseman uses AMF for his signoff and how lots of folks are selling tshirts with Adios Mofo on it. Meanwhile, Democratic political consultant Kelly Fero has bought adiosmofo.com. There's nothing up yet at that domain name though.
2. John Kelso uses his column in the Statesman to comment on "adios mofo." He's generally disapproving in tone.
I think the average voter thinks this is funny, and that it humanizes the governor. Sure, it knocks the governor completely off-message for a few days -- it's hard to compete with Adios Mofo as a headline on the front page -- but there'll be plenty of time to focus on school finance in the days ahead.
How upset are Texas' political consultants that Hutchison decided not to run?
Her decision cost them as a whole a good deal of money by not setting off the ripple effect of open offices.
Linkin it -- Adios Mofo style
1. Dave McNeely's most recent column on the guv race.
2. I thought Waco Trib's op-ed editor John Young had some interesting insights. There was also some stuff I didn't agree with, but I'll leave you guessing on that for now. I'm tricky like that.
3. ABC Austin does a story on the merchandise that has come out about "Adios Mofo".
I still think this story is entirely hilarious. My favorite part: "..."adios, mofo" appears to have existed since at least 1963 and is so common in the military that AMF is its well-known acronym, according to Grant Barrett, project editor for the Historical Dictionary of American Slang. "
So Perry does well with the miltary votes? What's next, hoo ah? (to our veterans and armed forces, we salute you!)
4. David Hill has a column in the Hill (I know, I thought it was funny too) about Hutchison's decision not to run.
5. Perry has a radio ad on the air supporting his school finance proposal.
22 June 2005
Meanwhile, Craddick and Dewhurst don't seem too enthused about Gov. Perry's school finance proposal.
That's it for me today, as I have had an excruciatingly terrible day. So I'm going to go do something that doesn't involve the computer.
Someone emailed me asking me if I thought "Adios Mofo" is a serious issue. Of course not. I think it's hilarious.
Then I noticed that Scott thinks that this is a "huge on-camera gift" to Comptroller Strayhorn.
Uh, I don't see it. This isn't nearly as juicy as "major league asshole," nor is it as mean-spirited (though Bush did say it jocularly), and Bush wasn't hurt by it. It humanized him, and it was kinda funny.
Perry kinda has a smirk on his face (watch the video here -- thanks to Keath Milligan). He may have been joking, he may not have -- current claim is that it was an inside joke; that Black had "used the phrase in the governor's company while the two were watching the NBA finals" -- but it doesn't come across particularly vicious. Frankly, given the way Perry says it, I tend to believe their story. To some degree, maybe this humanizes Perry too.
If I were running a campaign against Rick Perry, I can think of better lines of attack to be used in paid media. I highly doubt we'll see this in a campaign ad.
Hutchison for #4?
Samantha Levine in the Chron reports that KBH will be running for #4 in the Senate. Right now she is #5.
As of yet, she is unopposed.
She and Jon Kyl of Arizona worked out a deal where she would become #4 and he would be #3. He was #4 (to use standard Senate parlance).
It would be tough for Hutchison to defeat Kyl, as Kyl has the sterling credentials with the conservative members of the Senate that Hutchison has reportedly never been able to obtain.
Of course, if Rick Santorum is defeated, then it would appear likely that Kyl would be #2 and Hutchison would be #3.
Kay Bailey Hutchison is technically up for re-election. But can anyone imagine a scenario where she loses? It's tough.
21 June 2005
There's lots of important events going on in the governor's race. Perry vetoed the education parts of the budget in order to force a deal to be made on school finance in a special session. Kay dropped out and is trying to decide whether to run to be the #3 or #4 Republican in the Senate, which could become the race for #2 if Santorum loses to Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. (who lost badly to Rendell in a Dem primary for guv in 02) Senator Cornyn felt unencumbered by Kay's dropping out, and thus endorsed Perry.
Strayhorn is officially in, is good at getting media attention, and one of her four sons is managing her campaign. You might see her son Scott on tv now and again -- he's Bush's spokesman in DC. Another son is FDA Commish. She's taken to calling Rick Perry a "drugstore cowboy" and finally has a website.
Will Hutchison endorse Strayhorn? She is the last statewide officeholder who has not endorsed Perry.
Yeah yeah. But in a line reminiscent of W's "there's Adam Clymer, major league asshole from the New York Times" -- although not nearly as "good" -- Rick Perry had some parting words for a KTRK reporter (link via Pink Lady):
Our questions were not recorded on tape, but in saying goodbye I told the governor, "Try as I may, Governor, I guess I can't win this one."Of course, without seeing the clip, it's pretty hard to determine what Perry meant. We don't know whether he has a history with this reporter, whether he thought the entire interview was unfair, whether he was being untoward and curmudgeonly, or whether he was obviously joking. If anyone has a clip they can send me, I'll post it here.
Eleven seconds after he said goodbye, the camera crew was getting ready for the next interview with another station. That's when Gov. Perry repeated what he thought I'd said, and added a few words of his own with his microphone on and tape still rolling.
"Try as I may, Governor, I'm not going to wait that long," Gov. Perry said. "Adios, Mofo."
Those last words aren't exactly part of the seven dirty words, but it isn't something you want to say to your mother or use in good company. Tuesday morning, Governor Perry called me personally. He apologized and said his comment wasn't directed at us.
He agreed it was just one of those times a politician is caught by an open mike saying something embarrassing. He tells us he was just trying to get a reaction from the camera crew and it wasn't said with any malice or intent.
Either way, it's still funny.
UPDATE: Harvey has Perry saying:
"I called Ted this morning and I apologized to him," Perry said. "I explained to him that it wasn't.... Some inappropriate banter that was directed towards Robert Black, and no offense towards him and I shared that with him or anyone else for that matter. It was Robert and I making some banter and it was inappropriate."
UPDATE DOS: Try this link for video of the matter. Thanks to the comments.
It appears to me that Perry is indeed speaking offcamera, which supports his view that he was just joking around.
17 June 2005
KBH to run for re-election to Senate!
Kay Bailey Hutchison is expected to announce plans to run for re-election to the Senate, and will not challenge Rick Perry.
The announcement is scheduled for June 27th. That leaves her a bit of time to change her mind, so we'll see what happens.
Interestingly, the Rick Perry campaign even sent out an email containing the Quorum Report's announcement that KBH was running for re-election.
Hutchison will be an overwhelming favorite for re-election, even though she's breaking her term limits pledge.
Texas Monthly's Best and Worst Legislators
Texas Monthly's biennial list of the Best and Worst Legislators was unveiled this morning in Austin.
The Best: Dianne Delisi, Robert Duncan, Dan Gattis, Charlie Geren, Fred Hill, Steve Ogden, Jim Pitts, Mike Villareal, John Whitmire, Judith Zaffrini
The Worst: Gonzalo Barrientos, Dwayne Bohac, Mary Denny, Al Edwards, Mario Gallegos, Kent Grusendorf, Chris Harris, Terry Keel, Phil King, Robert Talton
I'll have more later today.
15 June 2005
Strayhorn trial balloon?
A consultant close to state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s campaign said she intends to announce Saturday that she’s running for governor, making official her long-rumored challenge to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry.Like the anonymous "consultant" who "is not in the campaign business" (er, ok, so why is this consultant trustworthy?), I'm not convinced Strayhorn's announcement is set in stone.
The consultant, who is not in the campaign business and spoke on condition of being unnamed, said that based on what’s been conveyed by Strayhorn’s campaign, "I can say she’s going to announce for governor on Saturday."
Asked if there’s any doubt, the consultant said, "This might be a trial balloon. There is a remote possibility that this is a bait and switch, but that is not her style. There’s no coyness to what they do."
There has been some speculation that Strayhorn, a Republican who has long and clearly signaled her interest in the governor’s race, might instead run for lieutenant governor if U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison jumps into the GOP primary for governor.
You might recall that both then-Land Commissioner Dewhurst and then-Supreme Court Justice Greg Abbott were running for lite guv at about this point in the 2002 cycle. When then-Senator Phil Gramm decided to retire in early September 2001, then-Attorney General Cornyn jumped to the Senate race. That prompted Abbott to switch to the Attorney General post that he now holds.
The point is: voters -- even primary voters -- don't particularly care at this point. If Strayhorn announces for governor, then there's some improved chance that she might keep KBH out of the governor's race. But if KBH jumps into the race, Strayhorn can still switch races. Given the celerity with which Strayhorn has office-hopped before, there's no reason to think she might not race-hop this cycle.
Strayhorn to announce for governor?
Reliable sources tell QR that Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn will announce her candidacy for the Republican nomination as Governor this Saturday.Wow. If this is true, then Strayhorn isn't waiting for KBH to decide.
We have not yet received direct confirmation from her campaign office but have enough confidence in our sources to run with this story.
Plans may change, but what we have confirmed are that calls are being made giving supporters a heads up about the pending announcement.
Will this affect KBH's decision? The conventional wisdom says that in a three-way Strayhorn v. Hutchison v. Perry race, Perry benefits the most. While he'll bear the brunt of the attacks from Strayhorn and Hutchison, his support is assumed to be the most solid. Thus, Perry and Hutchison make it into a runoff, where Perry has an advantage.
This is going to be a fun race. Can't you tell already?
UPDATE: Sal Costello has this:
Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn personally asks you to BE HERE for a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT this Saturday. June 18th at 12:15 - 16th & Congress (Just North of the Capital). Free Hotdogs, Free Drinks and Music. She says to bring the Family!
14 June 2005
Kay Bailey Hutchison and Senate leadership
From the Roll Call article:
In an early public move for a pair of the second-tier leadership posts, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) acknowledged last week that they are pushing for the Nos. 3 and 4 positions of Republican Conference chairman and Policy Committee chairman, respectively.Of course, Santorum is running for the #2 spot in leadership: Majority Whip. Santorum is about a 50/50 shot at re-election, by my estimates. He's running behind in all polls right now, but he's not to be underestimated.
Kyl already chairs the Policy Committee, but term limits will force Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) out of his Conference chairmanship after six years of service at the end of 2006, opening up that post.
The early declarations of interest from Kyl and Ensign set up a further dilemma for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who is term limited out of her position as vice chairwoman of the Conference, generally considered the No. 5 post in leadership. Hutchison is actively considering a bid for Texas governor, but that would involve the risk of running in a primary against Gov. Rick Perry (R).
“She has not made a decision yet. She’s certainly keeping all her options open,” said Terry Sullivan, Hutchison’s top political adviser in the Lone Star State.
If she were to balk at the governor’s race and run what would likely be an easy bid for re-election in 2006, Hutchison could find herself in a position of a different sort of intraparty squabble: a leadership race in the Senate.
Hutchison is believed to have her eyes on the Conference chairmanship as well, as it’s in line with the talents she’s displayed in more than four years as vice chairwoman.
The Conference chairman is generally in charge of leading the message and communications efforts, and Santorum expanded his portfolio by also serving as leader of outreach to K Street.
The Policy Committee chairman is in charge of generating position papers and data, with a large staff breaking down the impact on key issues of the day for the rest of the Conference.
As vice chairwoman of the Conference, Hutchison serves as the deputy to Santorum and is in charge of helping craft the message as well as leading floor speakers during the chamber’s “morning hour” debate. Hutchison also served as the Senate GOP’s main liaison to trade association lobbyists under Santorum.
Some GOP aides and strategists openly speculated last week about whether Kyl could be talked into staying put at Policy if Hutchison were to stay in the Senate, clearing the way for her ascension to Conference chairwoman.
And at an event for GOP women hosted by Hutchison, Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) openly stated that he expects Hutchison to chair the Conference if she remains in the Senate, according to the Houston Chronicle.
If Santorum is not re-elected in PA, then the #2 spot is open and the race for #3 between Kyl and Hutchison could become a race for #2.
However, in previous years, there has been talk that Kay Bailey wouldn't be able to win one of the top 2 leadership posts in the Senate, because she is (whether correctly or not) seen as a moderate. That talk seems to have abated recently, but it might affect a leadership election.
So these are the things Kay Bailey has to weigh: does she want to continue to commute with her young children, even though now is the time she can take advantage of the seniority given to her by her last 12 years of work? Or would she rather put her political career at substantial risk in order to come back to Texas, have a primary brawl and be the most powerful official in Texas?
Back in action
I was pretty busy this weekend, but I guess I've also just been a little lazy about updating the blog.
Perry has not had a good week since I updated. The guv has been getting a good deal of flak for his comment that:
Asked by a reporter what he would tell gay and lesbian veterans returning from Iraq who want to wed, Mr. Perry said, "If there is some other state that has a more lenient view than Texas, then maybe that's a better place for them to live."There have been quite a few editorials around the state criticizing Perry for both that comment and for holding his bill signing in the gym of a church in Fort Worth. Quite a few of the national papers have picked up the story as well, generally with a critical tone and lots of comments from folks like Barry Lynn from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
Perry's response to the criticism of the location:
"We could have signed it in a lot of different locations," Perry said on Fox News. "We could have signed it in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and those who are against people of faith being involved in the electoral process would still have been very much against this bill."
Fortunately for Perry, I'm guessing that the New York Times doesn't have much credibility with most Texas GOP primary voters.
The same Wayne Slater DMN article linked above also has Dave Carney, Perry's political guy, quoted:
"[The homosexual marriage ban] will be an important battle," he said, and a measure of who will vote in the March GOP primary.Is KBH on the record yet as to how she'll vote in the homosexual marriages ban? If so, I missed it.
"People who turn out Nov. 8 to support of the marriage amendment will clearly be potential Perry supporters," he said, "and it will be incumbent on our campaign to go out, talk to them and turn them out to vote in March."
The rest of Slater's article (which is worth a read) basically details how Perry is planning a similar George W. Bush - Karl Rove 2004 strategy: high turnout among the conservative base. Like BushCheney in 2004, Perry is not running towards the center.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News op-ed board likes Kay Bailey Hutchison's flirtation with running:
Mrs. Hutchison clearly understands the nuances of the game. Monday's thrust at Mr. Perry was followed by Tuesday's ultra-coy parley with Washington reporters, who pressed her to declare her intentions.
"I am not going to answer a question that would lead to a conclusion," she said primly. "I'll be the Alan Greenspan of today's press op. I will talk a lot, but if you think you've understood anything I've said, you're misunderstanding."
Of course, even Peter Jackson can't keep an audience on the hook forever. Milk the suspense too long, and they're likely to get testy.
As for the rest of us, we can sit back and enjoy the show. Face it, in a virtual one-wing-of-one-party state, we don't get many opportunities to savor this type of high-level political gamesmanship. Only the most veteran politicos can remember the last time the dominant party produced two (or more) well-matched gubernatorial contenders, playing for keeps. Popcorn, anyone?
School finance: Jay Root writes in the FWST that it still boils down to Craddick. He's got an interesting article on Craddick's reputation as a take-it-or-leave-it negotiator. Dewhurst, so the narrative goes, is tired of being portrayed as the loser in negotiations between the two.
08 June 2005
Stranger things have happened
AP report on Perry's attempts to broker a deal:
Perry has said he'll summon lawmakers back to Austin for a special session if they can agree on a solution beforehand.I wouldn't hold my breath. But stranger things have happened.
The governor today met with Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick.
Perry yesterday got together with Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.
An aide to Perry says as a result of those two meetings, the pace has quickened substantially.
1. Safety for Dummies has a post on KBH:
Hutchison is exhibiting a keen desire to play out this primary under her rules and under her timing . . . Its a shrewd strategy, but its important to remember that this race is to be run among GOP primary voters. Unless Kay can convince enough new primary voters to come out and support her, the saucy behavior might backfire.2. Chris Bell posts at BOR on his "man date for the new mainstream"
3. Firedancing Pink Lady has a source that claims John Sharp hasn't given up his dream of being governor. (Isn't that a bit skeptical? -- Ed.)
As the Hutch turns...
Asked about her intentions [to run for governor], she said in the halls of the Senate, "Obviously, I am not going to answer a question that would lead to a conclusion. I'll be the (Federal Reserve chairman) Alan Greenspan of today's (press conference).This is more entertaining than a soap opera.
"I will talk a lot, but if you think you've understood anything I've said, you're misunderstanding."
Meanwhile, Hutchison continued to call for a special session. The KBH campaign issued a press release calling for a special session to "address not only the inordinately high property taxes in Texas, but also teacher pay raises, textbook funding, university revenue bonds and judicial compensation."
This prompted Kent Grusendorf (R-Arlington), the chair of the House Education Committee, to issue his own statement.
I read with interest Sen. Hutchison's comments urging the governor to call a special session on school finance. Since I have spent the last 24 months almost exclusively on this issue, I too would like to see the issue resolved as soon as possible. School finance and its corollary, property tax relief, are the most pressing issues facing the state. The education of over four million students is at stake and nothing could be more important.Cheers to Harvey Kronberg at Quorum Report for the links.
I would urge Senator Hutchison, along with any other state leader who wishes to do so, to offer a coherent plan for solving this critical issue. As Governors Bush, Clements, and Richards all learned before, there is nothing as complicated, complex, or challenging as school finance.
06 June 2005
1. Statesmen: State's leaders should wait for court to sort out the mess. The Statesman op-ed board doesn't think it's worth it to call a special session for school finance.
Likewise, neither does the HouChron's Clay Robison.
2. Outgoing San Antonio Mayor Ed Garza, a Democrat, is considering endorsing Perry for re-election. Must be that they are both Aggies.
3. Carolyn Barta, a former journalist according to the byline, counters Bill Clements' recent op-ed arguing that a primary would hurt Republicans with an opinion piece for a GOP gubernatorial primary.
4. The NYTimes covers criticism of Perry's bill signing at a Christian school.
5. Meanwhile, the Hotline covers the KBH direct mail piece, and it seems quite possible they got it from this blog (they attribute it to "Hotline sources, 6/6"). Either way, it was here first, four days before the Hotline.
6. Kinky Friedman speaks to the Galveston County Pachyderms and admits that the campaign started "as a lark; some would say a joke." Probably not what you should be saying if you want folks to take you seriously, Kinky.
7. The FWST op-ed board doesn't like Perry's bill signing at a Fort Worth Christian school.
Hutchison wants Perry to call special session
"I do hope that the Governor chooses to call a special session now," Hutchison said. "In the budget there is an allocation for teacher pay raises, for judge pay raises, for the buying of textbooks on time. I think it's time that we have that session to do what's right. It's in the budget and I don't think our teachers should start in the fall not having the pay raise that was intended for them to have."Hutchison spoke outside of the Texas Supreme Court, where Justice Owen was sworn in to become Judge Owen on the 5th Circuit Court.
She also said that Texas needs "leadership to be shown now more than ever."
Seems like a smart move by Hutchison to me. It's a win-win situation for her. Hutchison is highlighting Perry's failure to broker a deal between Dewhurst and Craddick. By doing so, she lays the foundation for her run and she gets to criticize Perry obliquely.
Plus, though it seems unlikely to me, she may even goad Perry into calling a special session.
UPDATE: Gary Scharrer's SAEN take is here.
04 June 2005
Houston Strategies is a blog by a fellow Rice alum named Tony Gattis.
The blog is, according to Gattis, "An open dialogue on serious strategies for making Houston a better city, as well as a coalition-builder to make them happen."
For someone who loves this city as much as I do, I have to give it a plug. He even has a post on why Houston has such an amazing restaurant scene.
03 June 2005
1. Wayne Slater has an article in the DMN on evangelicals attempt to energize voter turnout.
In related news, Perry is going to a Christian school in Fort Worth to sign the parental consent abortion bill and the constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriages.
2. RG Ratcliffe in the Chron on the developments in the downballot statewide races in 06. Ag Commish Susan Combs is running for Strayhorn's Comptroller seat, in anticipation of Strayhorn's jumping into another race. State Sen. Todd Staples is running for Ag Commish.
3. Strayhorn is the headline speaker tonight at an anti-Trans Texas Corridor rally in Bell County.
Meanwhile, Strayhorn certified the state budget, saying she is "very comfortable that this budget balances."
4. Special session -- AP wire says Craddick prefers to wait for the Supreme Court ruling before doing anything about school finance.
Update: I should note that the constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriages does not need Perry's signature. That "bill signing" is purely ceremonial.
02 June 2005
New KBH direct mail piece
Kay Bailey Hutchison has sent out a new direct mail fundraising piece dated May 19. Apparently it began reaching mailboxes late last week and early this week.
The piece raises money for her federal "Kay Bailey Hutchison for Senate Committee." She has not yet opened a state campaign account, according to my searches at the Texas Ethics Commission.
There are mild hints of running for governor, but the letter mainly focuses on federal issues -- what KBH has accomplished and is working on in DC.
Here's the part most hinting at running for guv:
Leaders unite. Leaders are consensus builders. Leaders stand firm on their convictions.Here are the links:
Texans need that kind of proven leadership now more than ever...one who will stop liberal from playing partisan games to block qualified judicial nominees, brings new, well-paying jobs home to Texas and promote the morals and values we hold dear.
*The letter, page 1
*The letter, page 2
*KBH: A National Conservative Leader. A comparison scorecard of her vote ratings.
*Reply Card 1
*Reply Card 2
Given that she's said she's not running for Senate* and that she's still fundraising...I think it's safe to say we know what she's running for.
Thanks very much to my source.
* That is, I'm referring to the fact that she's promised not to serve more than two full terms in the Senate.
School finance and special sessions
Chris Elam has an insightful post on school finance and Perry's problem of brokering a deal between Craddick, Dewhurst, and the votes behind each leader.
Let's examine the motivations behind these men's comments and attempt to gain an informed insight.There's one important motivation that I think Chris forgot: Dewhurst isn't happy about the perception around the Capitol that Craddick rolls him every time they disagree.
Rick Perry, as you may have heard, faces a tough battle for his job in the upcoming. He stands to lose a lot of political support by being perceived as the man who failed to broker a deal on school finance. Therefore, as Charlie K. points out, he will take every opportunity to blame the House for dragging their feet. But, if a deal is reached, he will be quick to take credit for creating consensus. GOP primary voters are certain to respond to either situation... and, as Perry hopes, they will forget last May's worst shutout in Aggie history.
David Dewhurst, is rumored to be a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison. It can be argued that it is to his benefit if Perry is weakened (even short-term) this summer by a special session collapse because that will entice KBH out of the Senate and into the Governor's mansion. It can also be argued that its to his benefit to be seen completely immersing himself in the negotiations and forcing the Legislature to reach a compromise. Then, like Perry, smile big, send out self-congratulatory e-mails to your campaign list about the special session accomplishments, and pray like heck that you have more cash on hand than Henry Bonilla.
Tom Craddick... well. He gets to play kingmaker. As Chas K. pointed out earlier, he is the man with the least to fear from Texas voters and his peers in the House. Today, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports that Craddick has locked up enough votes to assure his re-election as Speaker in the next session. He enjoys a certain job security, that Perry and Dewhurst can only dream of. He obviously feels no pressure to shoulder the load for either man. Therefore, I tend to think that his words carry, and will continue to carry, the most credence in the press - and his wishes will be the end result.
One might wonder of KBH: can she do better with Craddick and his legislators?
One further thought: I don't know why Perry keeps saying that special session is likely. Is he trying to put pressure on Craddick? Craddick certainly seems to this outsider to be oblivious to pressure.
Perry is in a tough spot: he wants a deal, presumably both for his own political health and for Texas' future. He certainly wants to appears to have done everything possible. But the writing seems to be on the wall that school finance reform is dead.
If Perry calls a special session again and fails to get a deal, I think it looks very bad for him. Unless he gets Craddick and Dewhurst to agree, he should probably stop mentioning special sessions.
01 June 2005
KBH emails her supporters
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison emailed her supporters and said she was "disappointed" in the legislative session, but would wait until "the entire legislative process is concluded" to announce her decision. Given that, it doesn't appear that the June 6th announcement is correct. So much for the anonymous source close to KBH's camp.
Perry can sign and veto bills until June 19, which appears to be what KBH means by the legislative process.
According to Hutchison spokesman David Beckwith, the email was "to counter the rumor mill and to assure supporters that she's on her well-defined path in announcing a decision."
Kronberg claims KBH announcement plans untrue
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is certainly not tipping her hand about future plans. But rumors that she will announce her intentions on Thursday or Friday are not true. Months ago she indicated that any announcement of future plans would be within a couple of weeks of the end of the veto period. Despite all the end of session bar talk and rumors, nothing has changed that plan that we have been able to discover..We shall see.
I should note that the DMN has their Hutch-o-meter at 100%. Seems a little presumptuous until we hear it from KBH's mouth.
Will Hutchison resign her Senate seat?
Will Hutchison resign her Senate seat to run for governor? Should she?
If she doesn't, will this open up a line of attack for Perry?
I'll have thoughts on this later, but first I wanted to open it up for discussion in the comments.
A few relevant facts to keep in mind:
1. January, February and March are often the busiest months in the Senate's legislative calendar (or so it appeared to me on browsing the Senate legislative calendar for the last few years).
2. Primary is March 7, 2006.
3. If Hutchison resigns, Perry can appoint her replacement, which would then probably trigger a special election